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Author Topic: I sharpened my new chain  (Read 794 times)

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Offline sofasurfer

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I sharpened my new chain
« on: May 13, 2022, 04:12:36 AM »
When I googled "should I sharpen my new chain" all of the 'hits' said that new chains never need sharpening. Then I came to this forum and many people say a new chain is usually not as sharp as it could be.
I just bought a new chainsaw, I won't say that it is a Poulan 4218 because I know that bargain price saws don't get a lot of respect amongst pro. It was cutting pretty well but I did notice that the chips were pretty fine, more sawdust than chips. I gave it a sharpening and the chips definitely improved. I have to touch it up again tomorrow because its curving to the right a little. Not sure if its from the chain not sharpened evenly but I assume so. For a little saw I am pleased with how it cuts. I cut up a 24 inch truck and the only problem I had was because of the curved cut not lining up when cutting from one side and then the other.
When it gets broke in good will the carb need to be tweaked a bit? I am very shy about adjusting a 2 cycle engine because of the fear of getting it too lean and causing damage. I have no problems with 4 stoke engines but 2 cycles scare me. Am I correct in thinking that  the low speed adjustment is to be left alone but the hi speed is less critical safety-wise?

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2022, 06:33:35 AM »
In my experience a new chain is the bench mark for sharp. Ive only ever bought Stihl chains and the saw has always fallen through wood with a fountain of chips out the back, if I get it like this after sharpening I'm happy.

If you're cutting curves you're way off sharp, you've likely hit something and dulled or damaged teeth on one side. I would be surprised if you have sharpened yourself into a curve cutting situation using a file twice (I assume?)

Have a close look or grab a magnifying glass even you'll prob see rounded points somewhere on the chain. 

Offline lxskllr

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2022, 07:06:13 AM »
I have a 4218. We got off to a rocky start, but it's turned into a decent saw considering what I paid for it. Dunno what's going on with your chain, but something's not right. Like Josh said, it sounds like you rocked it, and have some bad teeth. For tuning, the high jet is the one you can mess things up good with. If the saw snaps to attention when you give it throttle, the low jet should be good. The high jet should sound "rough" when you rev it out of wood, and the sound should smooth out when in wood. There isn't a particular schedule for tuning the saw. If it sounds out of adjustment, it needs to be adjusted. See this page for tips...

Saw Carb Tuning

Offline axeman2021

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2022, 09:13:17 AM »
If your Poulan 4218 is working well for you thats all the respect needed, it don't hurt to run some files just to see if things can get better.

Offline beenthere

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2022, 11:24:13 AM »
Suspect you dipped the tip of the bar into some dirt while cutting (easy to do ) and quickly wiped out your sharp chain. 

As suggested, get a 10x hand lens and inspect your chain teeth to see if/when you have them sharp. Angle the same on both sides important. Rakers at the right depth also important. 

Good luck.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline sofasurfer

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2022, 12:57:40 PM »
My question about tuning is, can improper adjustment cause seize-up by making engine run too lean? What must be NOT done to avoid this happening? Do I need to fear my carburetor jets?

Offline rusticretreater

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2022, 01:08:30 PM »
If you have it too lean, then what will happen is that things will burn and score.  Basically, more hot air is generated and the hot air is even hotter than the burning fuel.  It doesn't happen immediately, but over time it will eat away at the valves in the engine.  The fuel entering the chamber helps keep the valves cooler.

Just follow the instructions in the link provided above for adjusting your carb and you should be good.  
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Offline JoshNZ

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2022, 04:40:30 PM »
You can absolutely wreck a saw by incorrect mixture, particularly the high end. Less likely to wreck a saw with the low speed needle, but it won't idle right or get out of the gate as mentioned.

You shouldn't need to worry about jetting they are the little orifices inside the carb installed in factory and shouldn't need to be changed but the needle which is your screw setting I assume you're referring to, you can adjust. You'll know when it's too lean, rev it out of a cut and it will scream and sound tinny and just generally hurt your soul, about 2 minutes cutting like that and you'll have a seized saw.

Not to scare you off, it should be set close from factory and you should be able to hear where it's happy. Have a read up and watch some vids. It won't hurt to go over lean for a brief moment and have a listen (just a quick rev no cutting), for learnings sake.

Offline sofasurfer

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2022, 06:25:53 PM »
I noticed that the saw is "jumpy" when its cutting, like driving down a washboard road. Saw maintains its rpms but gives a bumpy ride. Also. I cut a slab off and it seems as if the saw went through pretty straight. The slab is flat and smooth. Yippee! Just wish I knew why that one turned out good. Most of my cuts go well (a 2ft log) till half way through and then it starts veering to the right? If the problem is from tooth damage or dullness which side gets the attention to correct a right veer?
Thanks for your patience. I used to have a old Mac130 that always cut pretty straight and ran through the log nice a smooth. It was a smaller (16 inch) saw but had a larger tooth I think.

Offline JoshNZ

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2022, 06:43:42 PM »
Jumpy saw is usually your rakers/guides down too low. Tooth is trying to take too much of a bite and skipping out of the cut causing the jump.

You should go and grab yourself a brand new Stihl or Oregan chain one of the decent brands. Not like it'll go to waste, they're a consumable item and never hurts to have spares. That'll set your expectations for what is decent.

It will curve to the side it is dull on I suppose, but I wouldn't be trying to analyse that, if it curves at all it's dull and needs a proper sharpening. Probably quite a heavy session too, if it is curving.

If you're doing any amount of cutting you should invest in an electric chain grinder, even the cheap ones produce decent results after a bit of practice. Not to bring controversy into the topic but if one has hit metal or rock with a chain, I personally think you're wasting your time with a file and need to remove some serious material from the teeth to get it back to sharp. An amount that would take you several hours and several files if doing it that way

Offline lxskllr

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 06:54:30 PM »
That saw comes with a skip chain for some unknown reason, and it feels terrible in the cut. If it were me(spoiler alert, it was me), I'd buy a 16" WoodlandPro bar and chain combo from Baileys. 16" is a better match for that saw, and the full comp Carlton chain is good. Save the 18" bar for when you really need the length.

WoodlandPRO 16" ArborMAX Bar & Chain Combo (30LP 56 Drive Links)

Offline sofasurfer

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2022, 06:07:46 PM »
I'm still here and dealing with my Poulan 4218 that is cutting on a curve to the right. I just went out and did some more cutting. I cut a smaller log, 12-14 inch diameter and it cut through pretty darn straight. Then I cut the 18-24 incher again and I got a curved cut. I noticed that half way through the cut it is cutting straight(with the saw held level) but then at the widest part of the log I start dipping the rear end of the saw while leaving the tip pointing upward. THIS is where the saw starts cutting crooked...when I leave the tip where it is in the log and bring the back of the saw down though the widest part (is there a word for this action?). From there its curve city all the way.
What does this tell me?
By the way, I flipped the bar over and it still cuts a curve to the same direction.

Offline DHansen

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2022, 07:19:28 PM »
Try a new chain and see if it still curves in the same direction.  The larger the diameter of the log, the more affect of a chain problem will have.  The longer cut will produce a more pronounced curve in the cut.  See what happens when a brand new chain is used in a large diameter cut.

Offline DHansen

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2022, 07:20:13 PM »
Measure the gauge of bar and chain.

Offline bluthum

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2022, 07:30:49 PM »
Most often if I experience a chain cutting to one side it's because one side of the chain teeth is longer, sharper, duller or some such than the other side. Look at the cut   figure out which side is cutting faster then look at the other side of the chain to figure out why why. 

That assumes your bar doesn't have a wear ridge on it, that's part of basic maintenance. Diagnosed easily and a quick fix with a flat file and the bar removed.

Sometimes it's not hard to right things through hand filing and sometimes it's time for a new chain.

Offline rusticretreater

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Re: I sharpened my new chain
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2022, 08:22:27 PM »
A few things can make this happen.  Most of the time it is an improperly sharpened chain.  Its easy over time to lose the proper angle on the chain.  Then the hook on the tooth needs to be there to.  A test with a new chain will let you know if your old chain is the issue.  You might also figure it out with close inspection.  I was lousy at sharpening chains until I got a 2 in 1 tool and concentrated on the proper angle.

I also experienced a worn out bar.  The groove in the bar had simply worn out and allowed the chain to lean to one side.  Its also possible for the chain itself to get damaged from running in a worn out bar and no amount of sharpening will fix it.

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